Aberdeen: Derek McInnes meets Dons chairman after Rangers approach rebuffed
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has held talks with chairman Stewart Milne on Wednesday after the Dons rejected a formal approach from Rangers.
Rangers are willing to pay in the region of £1m in compensation, but Aberdeen refused permission to speak to McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty.
BBC Scotland understands McInnes is keen to listen to the offer from Ibrox.
McInnes, 46, and Docherty are contracted until 2020, having signed new deals in July.
Rangers sacked Pedro Caixinha almost six weeks ago and McInnes, who has been at Pittodrie since March 2013, has emerged as their preferred candidate.
McInnes and Docherty were absent from Wednesday morning's training session at the Gordon Barracks in Bridge of Don.
"Aberdeen Football Club has announced this evening [Tuesday] that Rangers have contacted the club asking for permission to speak to Derek McInnes and that permission has been refused," said the Pittodrie club in a statement.
McInnes said on Sunday after losing to the Ibrox side for the second time in five days that media speculation linking him with the Ibrox post had become an irritation.
"It's certainly not been encouraged by anyone here - I've not been happy with how things have played out," he said.
He spent five years as a player at Ibrox, three of them alongside Ally McCoist, who says his former team-mate is the right manager for the Ibrox club.
"It's possibly the right time for Derek and certainly the right time for Rangers to appoint Derek," McCoist told BBC Radio Five Live. "He's the majority of fans' choice."
"The whole thing has taken too much time for the Rangers supporters and we've had the bizarre situation where Derek has been quizzed at his last two press conferences ahead of the last two games against Rangers when in fact Rangers have beaten them," McCoist said. "It's had a strange twist and an unreal feeling about it.
"He's done exceptionally well at Aberdeen. Can he take Aberdeen any further? There's a question mark about that. He's got a wonderful relationship with [Pittodrie chairman] Stewart Milne and the board up at Aberdeen."
Sunderland agreed compensation with Aberdeen for McInnes during the summer but the former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager chose to stay at Pittodrie after talks with the English Championship side.